Opening Statements of Committee Members


Opening Statement of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

Hearing on Pending Nominations
10:00 a.m., Friday, November 5, 1999

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Susan M. Wachter of Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

Today the Committee will consider the nomination of Dr. Wachter to be Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As Assistant Secretary, Dr. Wachter will be responsible for: developing and revising policy and program proposals; evaluating and monitoring programs and information; regulating housing financial institutions; and coordinating policy development and research within HUD, with other Departments, and with the public.

Dr. Wachter is unquestionably qualified for her nomination. She has served with distinction at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as Chairperson of the Real Estate Department and as Professor of Real Estate and Finance. I would note that Wharton's Real Estate Department is rated first in the country by U.S. News and World Report. She has more than 20 years of experience in housing analysis. She is regarded as a pioneer in studies of homeownership affordability. Furthermore, Dr. Wachter is the author and editor of more than 100 scholarly publications. Her current research focuses on housing affordability, urban poverty, real estate pricing, and housing abandonment.

HUD stands at a critical point in its history. The Department is trying to resolve its longstanding problems while undergoing the most significant restructuring since its creation. In order for these changes to be successful, there must be a sustained effort at the highest levels of HUD. It is imperative for the agency to have qualified, knowledgeable and committed staff in key positions. Finding solutions will not be easy; however, Dr. Wachter will bring not only a wealth of academic expertise to the Agency, but also, a genuine concern for people.

As Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation, I look forward to working with Dr. Wachter in the near future. I whole-heartedly endorse her nomination, and I urge the Committee to support her.